How biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards is disposed of scientifically

An employee of Tekno Therm bio-medical waste treatment and disposal facility putting bio-medical waste collected from COVID-19 wards of hospitals in Coimbatore to incinerator.   | Photo Credit: Special arrangement

Disposal of biomedical waste generated from hospitals treating COVID-19 patients also demands extreme care as they can be potential carriers of the virus – SARS CoV2.

Coimbatore-based common treatment facility Tekno Therm is collecting bio-medical waste from hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in Coimbatore and Tiruppur districts.

A person associated with the company said that it was using a separate vehicle for the collection of biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards of such hospitals.

This vehicle is not used for transporting other biomedical waste. The crew of the vehicle and employees who handle the biomedical waste at the treatment plant are given personal protective gear. The waste is incinerated immediately on arrival at the facility. It is incinerated first in a primary burner of 1,000 °C and then in a secondary burner at 1,200 °C.

Biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards is handed over to the collection agents with a separate tag, after packing and sealing it in a three-layered cover. Hospitals that are involved in COVID-19 management are not supposed to mix them with other biomedical waste.

Tekno Therm is collecting biomedical waste from COVID-19 wards at Government Medical College and ESI Hospital, Coimbatore Medical College Hospital, and the Government Hospitals at Mettupalayam, Pollachi, Annur and Tiruppur.

The firm also collects general biomedical waste generated by larger hospitals in Coimbatore and Tiruppur (8,000 beds in total).

Another Coimbatore-based common treatment facility named Kovai Bio Waste Management Private Limited was to collect biomedical waste from Government Hospital, Udhagamandalam, said its managing director S. Bhuvaneswari.

Though four persons from the Nilgiris tested positive for COVID-19, they were shifted to ESI Hospital in Coimbatore. As the firm largely handles biomedical waste generated by small hospitals, nursing homes, clinics and laboratories, it will be handling biomedical waste generated by laboratories that offer COVID-19 testing. As of now, one private laboratory in Coimbatore is permitted to conduct the test.

Risk to workers

Meanwhile, Tekno Therm has also approached Coimbatore Corporation with regard to the disposal of waste such as mask and gloves used by people who are in home isolation and those residing in containment zones. These are now collected by sanitary workers of the civic body along with the general garbage, posing the risk of infection to them.

Civic bodies in some cities including Nagpur have made arrangements to collect such waste separately and dispose them scientifically.

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Printable version | Jun 25, 2021 6:21:44 PM |

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